The fate of four stores criticized for selling millions of cans of beer next to a dry South Dakota Indian reservation now rests with Nebraska’s highest court.
The court’s decision in the next few months will determine whether the stores in Whiteclay can resume beer sales next to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where alcohol is banned.
Attorneys for the state, beer stores and store opponents defended their cases Tuesday before the Nebraska Supreme Court.
The stores sell about 3.5 million cans annually in the village with nine residents.
Critics blame Whiteclay for widespread alcoholism on the reservation.
Issues in the case include whether Nebraska state regulators had the authority to deny the stores’ request for a license renewal, and whether a lower court erred in overturning that decision.